Cavalli is a bit of an institution on the Dubai nightlife scene, and for good reason. This year the home of all things swish, sparkly and spectacular turns ten years old and therefore it’s only right to head to Fairmont Dubai to raise a glass to the club for reaching that decade milestone.
We time our visit in line with the Wednesday night Sushi and Bubbles brunch, expecting a swanky and lively affair. When we arrive the red carpet is rolled out, the door staff are out in force and we’ve got our gladrags on. It’s definitely a bit old-school with the door policy and the dress code, but we like the sense of occasion as we’re shown to our stage-side table by a glamorous hostess in a pretty, shimmering dress.
It seems as though we are the first to arrive and we take a moment to appreciate the animal-printed, chandeliered set-up. It’s in-your-face, and you’ll either love the glitzy boldness of it all or you’ll find it a bit dated and tacky. We are of the former impression and it’s with high hopes for the evening ahead that we scour the impressive brunch menu.
There’s a good range of starters, a sushi platter (which is unlimited) and a selection of main courses. We start with the beef tartare with mustard mayo and truffle pearls. The chef is heavy-handed with the truffle, and though it’s not for the faint-hearted it is exactly to our tastes. The meat is unbelievably fresh and the truffle is delightfully pungent.
From there we work our way through a substantial sushi platter with exceptional tuna sashimi and enough California rolls to sink a ship, by which point the evening show is in full swing. At first we’re treated to a couple of solos from a glammed-up songstress with the lungs of Ella Fitzgerald, before a troop of beautiful dancers invade the stage and treat us to a phenomenal performance to Cell Block Tango from the musical Chicago.
So far there’s been all the makings of a tremendous night out, but the one thing missing is the crowd. There are only a handful of tables occupied in the expansive space and it feels a little bit awkward.
We spend a good portion of the evening avoiding eye contact with the performers for fear they will try to interact with us, and it’s a real shame that there isn’t a bigger audience to enjoy the spectacular live show.
The main courses arrive during the performance and we can’t help but feel rather odd tucking into our refined meal at a candlelit table while dancers twirl themselves around silks and spin from aerial hoops just yards away from us.
That being said, the food is spot on, especially the baked seabass with asparagus, which is flaky and fresh.
Dessert is another massive platter laden with all the calorific good stuff including cake and chocolates. It’s all delicious.
The food has been excellent from start to finish, as has the show. It’s a shame about the crowd (or lack of it) but, two out of three ain’t bad.
The bottom line
A top night but lacking in ambience.